Pick Your Rock and Metal

Friday, December 12, 2014

LIVE REVIEW: It was 7 'olock and it was time for a party with The Quireboys and company

THE song goes that "It's Seven O'clock, time for a party" and on Friday 21st November The Quireboys led a triple-headed monster of a party with beer flowing, voices raised and music the dripped with pathos, bathos, the blues, and damn fine rock 'n' roll.

Even the blackened heart of a dyed in the wool, corpse-painted black metaller could be see to groove and get on down to an atmosphere that made the American honky-tonk jive joints seem like a Sunday School.

Opening the party were Dublin's Preacher's Son. Unknown to almost every sinner in the Limelight2 audience it took just a couple of songs for them to endear themselves to those already sinking early pints.

With vocals low enough to be a match between Johnny Cash and Pete Steele, the bluesy folk tales were tinged with moments of angst and highlights of glorious soaring rock.

Javier Vargas had went out and about bringing his Latin roots to hard rock from the early 90s, and when his Vargas Blues Band took to the Belfast stage within a couple of bars of their opening song the crowd was enraptured.

With Javier's guitar weaving spells, Gaz Pearson was swirling vocal lines backed in vocal harmonies from Luis on bass and Peter (drums).

It's fair to say that for many Vargas Blues Band were a delightful surprise - the perfect way to loosen limbs and get the throat lubricated ahead of The 'boys.

Spike and his motley gypsy troubadours are regular visitors to these parts, and always, always, bring the party. Put simply they provide the soundtrack to the fun, the audio accompaniment to excess - all the time keeping the music at its core and may the devil take the hindmost.

It could be argued that The Quireboys are the true inheritors of punk, and in some respects they are more punk than many preened and posing pop punk pouring their saccharine tales out today.

Because, to a large extent punk was a reaction to the overblown, over-produced rock and prog rock of the mid to late 70s. Punk harkened back to the days of straight-forward rock, albeit with a more overt political agenda. In the face of an industry more interested in the latest over-dubbed, vocally enhanced 'starlet' to be financed by phone-ins and TV, The Quireboys cut against the grain looking back to the days when the Faces and Mott the Hopple played rock the way it should be played.

From the moment when Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin hit their six-strings, and Keith Weir ran fingers across the ivories it was clear that, as they say themselves "This Is Rock 'n' Roll".

Nevermind the glory of the hits such as 'There She Goes Again' and '7 O'Clock', each and every song was played with aplomb and passion.

'Troublemaker', 'Beautiful Curse', 'Mona Lisa Smiled', and 'Sweet Mary Ann' captured the very soul of rock - balancing choruses and verses with musicianship deceptively powerful and with a real soul.

Spike is what you imagine a proper rock star should be. Booze on board, teetering on the edge of oblivion, but every night able to pound out the standards and vocally weep odes to love and broken hearts.

This may be 30 years on from the first inklings of this vision of rock took shape, but despite a brief hiatus it is clear that Simon Cowell and his lords and masters in accounting and bean counting may dominate the airwaves will never, ever be able to stop the march of The Quireboys and their ilk.

They may not be playing the stadiums, but in each club, each bar, each venue that The Quireboys ply their rock 'n' roll trade they will not be cowed by the winds of fashion because rock and fucking roll will never die.

Review by Jonny
Photos courtesy of Paul Verner
All parts of this review - including pix - are protected by copyright
The owners assert intellectual property rights

The Quireboys return to Northern Ireland on 28th March, 2015 with their Unplugged and Proud set coming to the Diamond Rock Club

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